The Starkville Academy Volunteers look to build on the momentum of a successful 2011 football season.
The Volunteers made an appearance in the Class AAA, Division II State championship game, but lost to Washington School.
SA opens the season on the road at St. Andrew's tonight at 7:30 p.m.
"I don't know if last year brings any bearing upon it," Vols coach Jeff Terrill said of last season. "It is like going on a first date. You just want to make a good impression. It is just the natural nerves of getting the season started off. There's probably more excitement there than there is nerves."
The Volunteers beat the Saints 38-3 in Starkville last season in the first game of the year.
SA has participated in a preseason scrimmage and jamboree, but this will be the first time the Vols play a full four quarters.
"When you are in a small school and you have got some kids going both ways, depth is an issue and opening game (fatigue) is your biggest concern," Terrill said. "How we can hold up and can we make it."
Although fatigue may be a factor, travel does not concern Terrill.
"We are prepared for it," Terrill said. "We went on the road and we scrimmaged at Lamar, then we went to the jamboree in Jackson. That got us a little bit of a dress rehearsal for travel. We are thinking we are ready as we can be for it."
In last week's jamboree, the Vols tied with Simpson Academy 0-0 and beat Lamar 14-0.
Several players stepped up and surprised Terriil and his staff. He hopes they will continue their good play against the Saints.
"Our two most pleasant surprises was we really thought Drew Harrell starting as a sophomore at the mike linebacker really played well, and we also were real pleased with the progress of Johnny Wyman," Terrill said.
Senior quarterback Drew Pellum and senior tailback Colby Runnels will have a lot on their shoulders.
Runnels and Pellum have both seem to accept the challenge.
"They have practiced and hard and practiced well," Terrill said. "They are just anxious to get started."